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Photos: Windows Intune

What does Microsoft's cloud-based systems management service look like on the desktop? Take our tour of Windows Intune to find out.
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By Simon Bisson on
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Installing the Intune agent on a PC is a simple process, with no user intervention required. Put the installer on a share, or send it via email to let your users connect to Intune.

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Users can work with Intune from the Intune Center, where they can check for updates, ensure they have the latest malware protection, or ask for help form a support desk.

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Along with its management agent, Intune's client software includes a version of Forefront Endpoint Protection, replacing the anti-malware tools on a managed PC.

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The release version of Windows Intune adds support for administrators to work with multiple accounts, with an overview of the situation in each account when they log on.

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The Windows Intune web service gives you an overview of your managed PCs, indicating any security issues and flagging alerts that need to be resolved.

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You can get a quick feel for what needs to be done from the Updates Overview, seeing what updates Intune has ready to deploy, and what's waiting to be installed on managed PCs.

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Drilling down into Intune's update list allows you to see just what each update is, so you can approve the updates you want to deploy.

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PCs with management software installed are automatically placed in the Unassigned Computers group, where you can handle basic management tasks before assigned them to groups for more specific actions.

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Managed computers can be placed in groups, which can then be used to control policies and to manage which users get which updates.

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Use Intune's details view to drill down into the state of individual PCs. You can see what updates they need, whether there are any alerts associated with a machine, and the state of its malware protection.

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You can use Intune to see just what software is installed on which PC, which helps keep track of deployed applications and ensure you have the right number of licences. You can also use it to track down issues with specific applications and proactively deliver updates.

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